Deadlines and Evaluations.

Wednesday 19thDecember, 2018.
This was our first (and dreaded) deadline day for assignment hand-ins at university, despite our course starting almost 3 months before.

For this, we had to plan, execute and evaluate a MicroTeach (MT), and also do an observation of an experienced tutorand reflect on what we learnt, pinpointing some of the teaching methods used.

As far as assignments go, I actually really enjoyed these two! Planning the MicroTeach was something different and a bit of a challenge, but one that I would happily do again. It was nice we were given so much freedom of what to teach within the 30 minute class. We were literally told we could do whatever we wanted, as long as we kept it respectful and achievable within the time limit, and without needing a crazy amount of resources! I think this is why so many people struggled with deciding on a topic. With so much freedom, where do you start? Similar to why lots are finding it difficult to write these reflective blogs. In education we’re told from so young exactly what to do, what to write, and how to do it. Yet now, here we are, being given almost unlimited possibilities and freedom to teach whatever we want (for the MT), and blog however we find easiest about our education or teaching. It’s a difficult thing to allow yourself to be free in education when we’ve been given so many constraints in the past.

Choosing my topic for the MT was quite easy; I wanted to teach a skill that not many others have. A lot were going to teach an introduction to a different language, but I wanted to make mine a little different, focusing on counting from 1-10 in Mandarin, including the hand gestures. I love coming up with ideas and activities to Continue reading

From China to the Chinese

Imagine my delight when I was told one of our assignments for uni is to write a minimum of 3 reflective blogs.
FINALLY!
I’ve been given an excuse to tap away at the keys again and upload more of my rambling thoughts and feelings onto my dusty old blog.

This blog has gone from a personal venting space (a ‘let me try and sort my life/mind out’sort of thing), to somewhere for me to pass the time while I was bored sat at my desk in work, and then it became a place for me to tell the tales (and brag about) my travels around South East Asia. Well, hold onto the handlebars kids, this rollercoaster of a blog is about to take another wild turn… It’s about to become my “Academic, reflective blog”… It won’t be as interesting or as exciting as me telling you about (prepare for some more casual bragging here) that one time I rented a scooter and rode the Hai Van Pass in Vietnam, or the time I went to a questionably named festival under the Hong Kong skyline (Clockenflap, I’m talking about you)…

 

But, it is nice to have something that will have adapted with me and travelled through my ups and downs and twirly-whirly path of life I’ve found myself on, at the ripe old age of 25.

Anyways, I’ll quit rambling now, that’s definitely something I’m going to have to try and get better at for these posts!

Here we go, my first academic, reflective blog… enjoy!

Let me start with a genuine conversation I had with my mum and my sister:

Me: “I’m freaking out a bit! I mean, I’m going to be an actual teacher, like, I’m going to have to teach people things!” 
Mum: “Why are you freaking out, you’ve done this…”
Me:What? No I haven’t, I’ve got no experience of being a teacher, how am I supposed to handle this year?!”

Sister: “Charlie, what do you think you’ve been doing for the past year and a half…? You’ve been working at a school, TEACHING English to Chinese kids… you’re already a teacher.”
Me: “Oh… right. I mean, that didn’t count. Wait, did that count? Damn… I never thought of that.”

 For my whole life, I’ve grown up saying “I’ll never be a teacher, can’t think of anything worse!”. This is basically just because I’ve seen the Continue reading

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

This is not a travel blog. This is not an adventure blog.

This is a Charlie pours her head and heart out into the internet blog… just like old times…

[Also, if you didn’t read that title in the beauitful unique voice of my beloved Bowie, please stop right here and listen. I was torn between him and the Scorpions for this one…]

At this moment in time, I’ve decided to start making changes to myself. Improvements in some way… Now, when someway say that, you tend to think they you’ll soon be bombarded with gym selfies, healthy meal updates and half naked before and after photos. Well, don’t worry I’m not talking about those kind of changes. That’s not me, I mean; anyone who knows me knows that that is the polar opposite of who I am.

I’ve actually decided to change myself mentally… now, this isn’t even changing myself mentally as in I’m going all zen, I’m starting yoga and meditation. No. I’ve decided it’s time to change and improve myself in a different way, a better way. A way that I haven’t done in quite a few years… I’ve decided to start doing some online courses. I’ve come to the point in my life at the moment, and especially during my time here, that I’ve started to feel like I’m not using my brain as much as I’d like to. Yes I’m a teacher so I’m using it in that sense every day to ensure the kids understand what we’re working on. But, it’s not as mentally challenging in the educational way as I’d thought and hoped it would be (which is ironic as I’m still in the educational system). Although I’m thoroughly enjoying what I do and am very happy doing it, it’s not challenging my brain as much as I’d like. So this is when I decided to take it upon myself (with the help of a suggestion from a friend) to start to improve myself on an academic level. I’ve started an online course titled Dyslexia and Foreign Language Teaching.

I’ve never had any experience in this before, apart from the numerous times in my life I’ve been told I should be tested for dyslexia. But, I signed on anyway, because my friend and colleague Emilija, who is actually very involved in this area of study, had a conversation with me about dyslexia while we were grading test papers a week or so ago. I mentioned something about that when I was a kid, and sometimes Continue reading